An Open Letter to an Author

Before I start this, I wanted to point out that I’m trying out a new theme for my featured images!! I know you can’t see it from this page, but if you want to go to the home page and check it out and tell me what you think I’ll love you forever!! ❤

Dear JK Rowling,

You brought me into my very first fandom, and for that I love you and will never be able to forget you, even if the entire Harry Potter world miraculously drops out of history (it won’t, I promise).  You taught me what a book series could be, what friends could be, and that a 14 year old can conquer a force which had most adults cringing in terror.  At 10, I thought I could too.  Through your writing, you managed to give a frightened, shy little kid the confidence to believe in myself, and know that other people are sometimes wrong.

From there, you succeeded in continuously inspiring me book after book, and I learned what it meant to grow deeply attached to a character and feel like they are your best friend even though you’ve never met them, and they don’t know who you are.

Through Hermione you taught me the definition of feminism, of equal rights, and made it cool to be smart.  You gave me someone to look up to who was a girl but still a badass and way better at literally everything than the boys she was friends with.

Through Ron I learned that even if you don’t have everything you want, you can still do something, still be happy.  And, more importantly, he showed me the importance of family in life, and how you can’t go anywhere without them.

Through Luna, you showed me that it’s okay to be different, to be unique, because although some people will make fun of you, it’s always better to be yourself.  The right people (the ones you want in your life) will love you all the same.

Through Snape and Draco, you proved that some people are not what they appear, and just because someone puts on a tough front doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurting on the inside.  Normally, when people are cruel, it means that they are hurting even more than the rest of us, and we should help them.

And, through Umbridge, you made sure to let everyone know that some people truly are just plain evil.

But that’s not all.  In fact, it’s far from the most important reason which you inspired me.  What caused me to write this letter to you isn’t because of Harry Potter characters in a novel, but because of you.  Your passion, your dedication.  As someone living in the US, I don’t always know about the political figures who you talk about, or what laws you are even advocating for.  But, that’s not what matters.  What matters is that you are advocating for something, that you are using your platform for a purpose.  Sure, you’ve been told that rich, famous people shouldn’t know anything about politics, but you defy that stereotype every single day.  You prove that EVERYONE should have a voice, and you’ve taught me the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

And oh, your responses to Twitter trolls.  Your confidence in yourself, and ability to stand up for what you believe in with humor has me in awe.  I’m so very impressed by you, and I wish that I had the same confidence in myself that you show on a daily basis.

This is starting to sound like a love letter, so I’m just going to end it here, but know that you will always have a special place in my heart.  (ugh, I’m doing it again)

Thank you for everything.joce-sign-off


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Author Interview: Alistair Cross

Today, Write Through the Night (and all of you guys) has the pleasure of featuring author Alistair Cross!! Alistair wrote an urban fantasy/dark fiction novel The Angel Alejandro, and it was finally published this January.  I was lucky enough to be able to ask him some questions about his book, writing, and himself!

On The Angel Alejandro…

Where did you come up with the idea for The Angel Alejandro?

Like most book ideas, it came in small sections – some of which predated the writing by a couple of years and others that were formed as the writing went along. But there was one defining moment that stands out – something I saw that brought it all together and had me itching to write this book right away: A man walking down the street near my house.

He looked like he’d stepped right out of 1880s London, and the moment I saw him, I knew he belonged in this book. His slicked-back hair, shiny black briefcase, and long ebony cigarette holder sparked my imagination in a thousand ways and by the end of that day, Gremory Jones – the main antagonist in The Angel Alejandro – was fully formed and ready to begin telling his dark, sordid story.

Can you give us any hints about what’s to come in the book?

The cover and title of this novel suggests a certain lightness – romance, even – and that’s deliberate. There’s plenty of both within the pages, and a good dose of humor, too, of course, but once you get deeper in, there are darker things – things that will hopefully set the readers’ teeth on edge. I wanted to throw some curveballs in this book, to keep the readers on their toes, and to leave a lasting impression. I think of this book as a ticking bomb gift-wrapped in pretty packaging.

On Writing…

Which authors inspired you to begin writing?

There are so many, and nearly every author I’ve read has inspired me in one way or another, but no one has given me more inspiration – on and off the page – as my friend and collaborator, Tamara Thorne, who is the bestselling author of Moonfall, Haunted, and Candle Bay. Together, we’ve collaborated on several novels and this is a dream-come-true for me because I’ve been a fan of her work since the 90s, long before I ever put pen to paper in a serious way myself.

We met in 2012, just after I’d first gotten published, and we hit it off in a way that only happens once or twice in a lifetime. We found ourselves talking about new ideas for novels, one thing led to another, and one day, she called me and asked if I’d care to work on a book with her. I had mixed feelings about collaborating at the time – is there a quicker way to sabotage any relationship than going into a joint business venture? – but when horror-lit royalty like Tamara Thorne invites you to collaborate, you don’t turn that down. Plus, I had a really strong feeling that if I could write with anyone, it would be her.

We soon found that our writing styles gelled together so seamlessly that when asked who wrote which part, we often didn’t know the answer. We still don’t. And after over three years of working together every day, we have never had a fight. We have nearly identical artistic sensibilities and we share strong feelings about proper work etiquette – which, in short, translates as no drama. We’re currently wrapping up our fourth and fifth collaborative novels simultaneously.

This is the type of author friendship most people only dream of!

How do you begin the writing process?

I always feel like I should have a really interesting answer to this – and one day I’ll make one up involving goat bones and virgin’s blood – but the truth is, I get up, make coffee, sit down, and start writing.

Why did you choose to write fantasy, out of all possible genres?

While The Angel Alejandro qualifies as urban fantasy, I am a horror author at heart – not because I chose either of these genres but because I simply write the story that needs to be told. I don’t think about genre. I could just as likely one day write a historical romance if that’s what appeals to me at that time.

What do you consider the best part of writing?

I love the characters. I like putting them in impossible situations and seeing how they get themselves out. Nothing makes me happier than when a character surprises me. That’s how I know I’m on the right track – when the characters start telling me what happens next.

On Reading and Other Hobbies…

Who are your favorite authors to read?

Another very, very long list. I am a reader. I always have been. I’ve loved everything from Pet Sematary to Gone With the Wind. Currently, I’m reading The Troop by Nick Cutter, and I can’t put it down. I love the darkness of Anne Rice, the authenticity of Patricia Scanlan, the dark romance of Anne Rivers Siddons, the eloquence of Charles Dickens, the elegance of Oscar Wilde, the sexy bad-ass-ness of Laurell K. Hamilton, and the brilliance of Stephen King.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Driving around without destination, radio blaring. Reading. Petting the cats. Thinking about writing. I try to take Sundays off so I can just watch movies and veg out.

On The Radio Show…

You said you co-host a radio show.  What is the most challenging and/or rewarding part of doing this?

Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, an hour-long weekly radio talk show, is part of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network, which has over 3 million listeners worldwide. On Haunted Nights LIVE!, Tamara Thorne and I interview authors, crime buffs, paranormal investigators, forensics experts, and even actors and psychics – anyone who dabbles in the darkness.

The reward, of course, is meeting amazing people. I get to say with certainty that I’ve conversed in depth with people who will be remembered hundreds of years from now. I get to not only meet my heroes, but I get to ask them about their work, their lives. I get to find out how their minds work. I’ll never forget what it was like to talk zombies with Walking Dead author, Jay Bonansinga, or ask Andrew Neiderman, author of the world-famous V.C. Andrews novels, what a day in his life looked like.

And how could I forget how nervous I was the first time we interviewed Laurell K. Hamilton? That first interview with her would be especially difficult to forget, of course, because of a technical glitch that kicked me out of the studio during her reading from her novel Dead Ice … but pros that they are, Laurell and Tamara carried on just fine and by the time I got back in, all was well. There are simply too many rewards to mention, and I love doing the show.

As for challenges, our only real enemy is time constraints. Between solo novels and collaborations, Tamara and I are working on a minimum of three projects at any given time and this doesn’t leave us a lot of room for anything besides writing, researching, editing, and brainstorming. But we love the show and make it a priority.

Who is the best guest that you’ve ever had on your radio show?

I can honestly say we haven’t had a single bad guest. Not one. As for choosing a favorite, I simply can’t do it. I’ve learned so many different things and had so much fun with all of them that it’s impossible to say which one I enjoyed the most.

And Finally (as always), a Bit of Advice and a Personal Note…

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors, or just to people in general?

Do what you love. Use the talents you were given. When you begin your journey, you’ll be told that you can’t, that you won’t, that you mustn’t. Look closely at the lives of those who are discouraging you and ask yourself if this is someone you should be taking advice from. I personally guarantee you they aren’t – people who fulfill their dreams aren’t naysayers because they know what’s possible. Only the idle have such strong negative opinions about progress.

If your readers could only know one thing about you, what would you want it to be?

That I sincerely love what I do and that it’s because of them that I’m allowed to do it.

Want to Know More?

Thank you so much to Alistair for taking the time to answer my questions, I know I loved reading your answers, and it gave me much better insight into you and your writing!  For those of you that feel the same way, below is a summary of Alistair’s book, and a couple of links you should probably check out.

About the Author

ac-headshotAlistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, a vampiric tale of terror and seduction, was an immediate bestseller earning praise from veteran vampire-lit author, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and New York Times bestseller, Jay Bonansinga, author of The Walking Dead series. In 2012, Alistair joined forces with international bestseller, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write – among other things – the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their debut collaboration, The Cliffhouse Haunting, reached the bestseller’s list in its first week of release. They are currently at work on their next solo novels and a new collaborative project.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has featured such guests as Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of HELLRAISER 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore.

Visit Alistair at: http://www.alistaircross.com

The Angel Alejandro

 

alejandro-book-coverFrom bestselling author Alistair Cross comes a forbidden tale of love and redemption, of good and evil, and those who dare to stand up to Hell itself.

Angel or Demon?

Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro, and Madison O’Riley has no clue what to do with him. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes the mysterious man who saved her life harbors deep, otherworldly secrets that will put her in grave danger.

The Devil is in the Details

Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a price, he’s willing to make a deal. Walking the streets in top hat and trench coat, he tempts the citizens with mysterious wares from his shiny black briefcase. But buyer beware: All sales are final – and fatal.

A Scorching New Terror Has Come to Town

The townspeople are changing in appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

Buy The Angel Alejandro on Amazon

Other Books by Cross

The Crimson Corset

The Book of Strange Persuasions

The Cliffhouse Haunting with Tamara Thorne

The Ghosts of Ravencrest with Tamara Thorne

The Witches of Ravencrest with Tamara Thorne

Mother with Tamara Thorne

Don’t Miss a Thing

Contact

Website

Author Page

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Will you be buying The Angel Alejandro?  Did you learn anything new in the interview? Comment below!

joce-sign-off


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Guest Post: How I Began Writing My Book (As told by a real live author!)

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing author Adrian Burrows to the blog!  He has written an incredible comical history book called Escapades in Bizarrchaeology, a story which follows protagonist Max Vitrus on his unusual journey through history.  Guaranteed to make even non-history lovers fall in love, it most certainly seems like a book everyone should read!  Adrian was kind enough to tell us about how he decided to first start writing, the research process, and developing the unique story that he has written today!  Already know you want the book and don’t want to scroll through the interview?  Head to Amazon or Waterstones right now

Handing Over the Microphone…

When I first decided to write a humorous history book my first thoughts conjured up an elaborate fantasy, it was of myself conducting research, clad in a thick wool jumper, with horn rimmed glasses perched upon my nose (possibly smoking a pipe, the jury’s still out on that one) and thumbing through a dense and dusty leather bound book. After several months of this research process and careful planning, I would crack my knuckles, fire up Microsoft word (other writing programs are available) and actually get to writing some words.

It didn’t really work out that way. Instead I just started writing and saw what my brain spouted out.

It helped that I’d already unwittingly completed several years of research before even considering putting fingers to keyboard and writing a book. Working for Little Gargoyle Ltd, running Wicked Workshops, delivering interactive history workshops to primary schools across the county as well as researching and writing these workshops, had done a lot of the knowledge gathering for me. My brain was crammed full of fun historical facts; Iron Man armour invented in WW1, Ninjas that love cricket, how to survive if you were shot at with an arrow, why Vikings pull angry cow’s tails… I just needed to find a way of getting all this info out of my head and sharing it in a way that made sense to someone trying to decipher the jumble of information.

To start off with I began writing a blog, titled ‘Escapades in Bizarrchaeology’ (which ultimately became the title of my book), as a way of easing myself back into writing. It had been some years since I’d spent any time going through that occasionally painful, oftentimes frustrating and always satisfying process of trying to put my words out into the world, the blog allowed me to break that process down into manageable chunks. To write something on a smaller and less intimidating scale and have the advantage of an immediate response from readers. This certainly helped build my confidence early on, as I was shocked to learn that people actually enjoyed my random brain rumblings. The blog is a great way to begin on your journey to writing a first book, the chance to test out ideas, and to succeed and fail in those ideas. My blog really formed the solid foundation of the final book, allowing me to build on the themes, ideas and research within it. It also gave me my lead character, which is strange for a work of nonfiction.

Initially the blog was simply a way for me to share my thoughts on certain aspects of history, elements that there simply wasn’t the time or opportunity to explore within the school workshops I delivered, or that perhaps weren’t suitable for a primary school audience as the information was too dense. What I wanted to avoid, was having to be constrained by the limits of my own identity when writing. For most historians they are writing simply as themselves, for myself, in order for me to make the book as fun and accessible as possible, a pseudonym was required.

max-parchment-2
Here’s Max!

Captain Max Virtus (Captain in Bizarrchaeology or course) ended up being much more than a pseudonym, he became a full and complete character. Through my blog posts he developed his own personality, writing style, history, backstory and life. He was a fictional character writing a nonfiction book. Ultimately, I think it is this that makes Escapades in Bizarrchaeology different to every other history book on the market.

 

I hope you’ve found something of interest in my mind musings and if so inclined BUY MY BOOK (I wrote that in capitals to make it more likely that you’ll do it).

adrian-burrowsAdrian Burrows (b.1981) works as an actor, Workshop Practitioner and Author in Lancaster. He is passionate about ensuring that history remains relevant to people of all ages and so spends the vast majority of his time dressed as a Viking, Roman Gladiator and/or a Pirate at primary schools across England.
As a freelance historical writer, his monthly blog for HISTORY IS NOW has been wildly popular and his writing has been featured in HISTORY REVEALED MAGAZINE.  As a new father his most recent writing has been informed by late night and early morning gaming sessions of Farcry Primal, with the express purpose of an early history education for his young Son.
His combination of broad shoulders and tiny waist means he has often been described as a triangle and he has a deep hatred of grammar and spelling – apologies in advance to his editor…

Back to Me…

I loved hearing about the way his book came to be, and I hope you did too!  Curious to learn more about it?  Well, here’s some links, the Goodreads summary, and all that good stuff. (cover link brings you to Goodreads)

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The History Book For People Who Don’t Like History – Yet! Captain Max Virtus has spent his life Excavating the Extraordinary and Unearthing the Unusual. Gathering the history of the Bizarre to exhibit in his Warehouse of Bizzarchaeology. Now you have the opportunity to take a guided tour of his life’s work, in this, his personal journal. Discover why bats were used as bombs, how an emu can defeat a tank, the reason why guns were installed in cemetries … and how you can get shot with an arrow … and survive. All this … and then things get really weird! Take History To The Max

Buy on Amazon or Waterstones  right now!

Also, don’t forget to follow Adrian on Twitter and Facebook to get all the latest updates!


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~ Now Venture out and Change the World ~

 

Author Interview: Erin

I’m so excited to be posting my very first author interview ever!!  I love talking to everyone and reading their work, and being able to share it with others is such a privilege!

Erin is an amateur fanfiction writer who mostly writes Harry Potter fanfics.  You can find her work on FanFiction.net, so make sure to check out what she’s written so far!  I was fortunate enough to be talking with another Erin (whose work I’m editing) and she told me about this Erin, and we started an interview, which went a little (or a lot) like this…

How did you choose your pen name?

WhyamInotinRavenclaw – My frustration at only being able to be in one Hogwarts house- Hufflepuff is my primary house.

What is your latest piece of writing?

Lady Knight

How did you decide to write it?

I wondered what it would be like to be growing up in the shadow of heroic parents, and what a pain it would be, and went from there.

Do you have any tips for writing and getting started?

Start writing, then edit.  If you try to edit as you write, it will be very slow.  Write about things that interest you.

What’s your favorite book?

Dang… Harry Potter series or Throne of Glass Series.

Why did you decide to start writing fanfics?

I wanted to see what would happen to the character I loved.

Who’s your favorite ship?

Fremione

Which author (if any) inspired you to start writing?

John Green

How do you plan to celebrate the winter holidays?

With my family – Singing Silent Night as we put baby Jesus in the manger

What is your favorite part of Christmas?

Mass with my family

What hobbies do you have?

Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Photography, writing, reading, knitting


I was so glad to have the chance to sit down and talk with Erin, and learn a little more about the person who wrote the awesome Fanfictions that I love to read!  And, I’m a little shocked, because I never thought of Fred and Hermione being together.  Ugh.  I still love Ron (I know that’s an unpopular opinion).  If you’ve ever read Harry Potter, please take the time to go to Erin’s site, and read one stories.

Are you a writer or a blogger who would like to be interviewed?  Contact me, I would love to read your work, review it, or interview you!